“Alas, another school year begins… And while the past month or so has been spent worrying and waiting for loans, scholarships and grants to slowly whittle away at that Charge Activity figure on our Account Summary page on Zipline’s Finances, we’re here. Again.””
Alas, another school year begins…
And while the past month or so has been spent worrying and waiting for loans, scholarships and grants to slowly whittle away at that Charge Activity figure on our Account Summary page on Zipline’s Finances, we’re here.
Let the celebration begin.
We can be thankful that that number hasn’t risen too much recently and not at all in the past year.
However, wouldn’t it be more pleasant if that number were renamed Degree Fee and simply left alone, with no possible way to subdivide it into its constituent parts?
Degree sounds better than charge activity, and the subdivision of that fee makes it particularly annoying.
I mean, come on.
Tuition, general service fee, facility fee, administrative fee, library fee, technology fee, career advantage services fee, fees that pertain to specific courses, transportation fee… wait, what?
Transportation fee? I thought I paid that at the gas station and cried every single time it happened.
Lo and behold, and very sneakily I might add, there’s a brand new $115 fee tacked on to my bill.
Something like that should have been announced with a billboard, not like a rufie in someone’s drink before the financial sodomy begins.
Okay, it’s only $115. It’s not that much when compared to other things, but why?
What’s up is that paying for a parking permit used to be optional.
If you’d like to park on campus, pay $110 and you get a nifty ‘lil pass to hang from the rearview mirror.
If you’d rather walk or take the shuttle, both are free.
Now, everyone pays $115, and you can get a parking permit on request.
That’s right, even if you don’t plan on parking on campus, you still pay.
It’s only an extra $5 if you commute and regularly buy a parking permit anyway, but what about the people who walk or hitch rides and have no use for a permit?
What do they get out of it, and where does their money go?
Funding the stadium?
Cleaner neighborhoods around campus?
A giant statue of Zippy, Capital One Bowl Mascot of the Year?
The extra money we’re spending goes solely towards transportation uses only, i.e. maintenance, service, and utility costs of parking decks and lots and a greatly expanded Roo Express shuttle service. At least the fee is aptly named.
That’s all well and good, but weren’t the decks and lots being properly maintained before?
True, the university is perpetually expanding and will be in need of a fund to build new lots and decks, but our money should be going towards what we already have, not what we’ll have when we’re done and graduated.
As far as one can tell, the primary reason we’re getting charged this fee is because of the greatly expanded Roo Express shuttle service, to which two new routes have been added: one that goes into the neighborhoods east of campus and one that goes to the south.
The frequency of stops has also increased; you can now catch a new shuttle at any stop anywhere from every five to every 20 minutes.
Check out the Parking Services web site for exact routes, stops and times.
It’s interesting to note that the East and South routes (where more students live) don’t operate on the weekends.
Even the Roo is scared of those neighborhoods during party times.
So the question becomes: are the benefits of the expanded shuttle services enough to warrant effectively charging only students who don’t park on campus to pay for a service that was once free?
Only time will be able to tell, assuming that effort is put forth into such a study.
Would you rather walk to a shuttle stop, wait for the shuttle, wait for the shuttle to complete its circuit and then walk to class, or request a permit that you paid for anyway and attempt to find a parking spot?
My guess would be the latter.
And what’s with charging everyone the same amount when some people are clearly going to benefit more than others?
Maintenance fees for lots and decks, utility costs and operating costs for the Roo Express can be more accurately estimated than future demand for parking permits, so why not charge separately?
As in, a less outrageous transportation fee could be charged to everyone for transportation services, and a separate parking permit fee could be charged to those who actually wish to park on campus.
It would be a bit more fair, and it would probably do more to clear parking congestion on campus.
The transportation fee is something we have to live with now, and it will probably change in the future as its intended uses and usefulness can be further assessed.
Here’s to hoping it doesn’t take long.